Tensions Escalate as China’s Coast Guard Boards Taiwanese Tourist Boat Amidst Dispute
Share this:

By The Smartencyclopedia Staff & Agencies

HONG KONG — In an alarming turn of events, China’s coast guard boarded a Taiwanese tourist boat on Monday, further intensifying the ongoing dispute between Beijing and Taipei over the recent deaths of two Chinese fishermen. The incident comes after China announced strengthened law enforcement activities and regular patrols around Kinmen, a group of Taiwanese-controlled islands off the Chinese coast.

According to Taiwan’s coast guard, six Chinese coast guard officers briefly boarded the Taiwanese sightseeing vessel carrying 11 crew members and 23 passengers. The boarding occurred as the boat, veering towards mainland China due to shallow beaches near Kinmen, was inspected for sailing plans, certificates, and licenses of the captain and crew. The entire process lasted about half an hour.

Kuan Bi-ling, head of Taiwan’s Ocean Affairs Council, expressed concern over the rare boarding, stating that it “hurts the feelings of our people, provokes fear among them, and is not in the interest of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.” She emphasized that tourist vessels accidentally entering each other’s waters were not uncommon, and such boats were not illegal.

The Kinmen archipelago, governed by Taiwan since 1949, has become a tourist hotspot, attracting visitors from both sides. However, civilian access is restricted, and the area is heavily guarded by Taiwan’s military.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office has yet to comment on the recent boarding. Last week, the office strongly condemned the deaths of the two Chinese fishermen and demanded the release of two others detained by Taiwan.

The Kinmen incident is the latest episode in the escalating tensions between China and Taiwan. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry reported 24 Chinese military aircraft and eight military ships detected around the island in the past 24 hours. Eleven of these planes crossed the Taiwan Strait’s median line, a longstanding unofficial buffer zone that Chinese aircraft have increasingly traversed, heightening concerns of military aggression.

As the dispute continues to unfold, the international community closely watches the delicate balance in the Taiwan Strait, with fears of potential conflict escalating in the region.

Share this:
All comments.